A bill on gambling addiction counter measures passed Japan’s lower parliamentary chamber – the House of Representatives – on Friday, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent. The bill was sent to the upper house – the House of Councillors – for further discussion and voting.
The parliamentary membership of Japan’s two governing parties – the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its smaller partner Komeito – and the opposition Japan Restoration Party jointly submitted a bill a fortnight ago to the country’s parliament – a body also known as the Diet – on the issue of anti-gambling addiction.
Gambling addiction counter measures had been trailed by lawmakers, investment analysts and commentators as a necessary precursor to the arrival of casino resorts in Japan.
The House of Representatives started last week discussing the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill, which sets the broad regulatory framework for the establishment of a casino industry in the country.
Japan’s governing parties expect the IR Implementation Bill to pass both chambers of the Diet before the official ending on June 20 of the current parliamentary session.
In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, Jim Murren, chief executive of U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International, said the pace of implementation of gaming-related legislation had “started to accelerate”.
“Companies and municipalities that have been silent up until now would start moving” should the IR Implementation Bill see its passage, Mr Murren was quoted as saying. Three resorts would “generate billions of dollars, making the market vastly larger than Singapore,” he reportedly added.
The IR Implementation Bill – as submitted to the Diet - proposes an initial cap of three casino resorts nationwide, and a fixed tax rate of 30 percent on any casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated by that country’s proposed gaming resorts. It sets a JPY6,000 (US$54) casino entry fee for locals for 24-hour access, and limits casino visits by Japanese to three times a week and 10 times per month in aggregate.
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”I would expect that there might be some clearly-defined criteria … and I’m supportive of a more clearly-defined roadmap for the [gaming] industry”
Co-chairperson and executive director of Macau casino operator MGM China